“Jump! Cut! Bang!”
Do you remember the first time you heard Mahler’s music?
Tilson Thomas: I remember very clearly the moment when Mahler’s music reached out and grabbed me; I was 13 years old. I was waiting at the house of my parents’ friends for some reason or another; they were very busy people and they said, “Would you like to listen to some music? For example, do you know Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde?” – which of course I didn’t.
And they said, “Why don’t you listen to the last movement – it’s about 20 minutes long and your parents should be here by then.” And they put on this section, and really I divide my life between before I heard that recording – which was Ferrier and Walter – and after I heard it. The music made a stunning impression on me.